A mother in Pennsylvania who initially told the police her autistic son had been kidnapped by two black men, had actually drowned her child and killed him, it was later found. Patricia Ripley, 45 pushed her son, Alejandro, 9 into a canal the first time but his cries attracted the attention of people around who saved him. An hour later, Ripley once again pushed her son in a golf course canal and left him to die. He was found dead on the morning of Monday in Miami-Dade County. A video of her crime was also obtained from nearby surveillance cameras. Alejandro was wearing a Captain America t-shirt when the police found him. They then questioned his mother who said her son had been abducted. However, she gave conflicting accounts of the events on Thursday where she also claimed a robbery attempt according to her arrest affidavit.
An Amber Alert was launched to find the missing child. According to local10.com, the chilling video shows Ripley walking with her 9-year-old son Alejandro on the bank of a canal in west Kendale in broad daylight. This was Riply's first attempt at trying to kill her son. She is seen stroking his hair and looks around possibly to see if there are other people around. She then pulls him with one hand and shoves him into the water, and runs away from the scene. A witness at the scene of the crime tried to make sense of what was going on, and he returned with two others who helped pull Alejandro from the water and dried him off. According to the police, Alejandro was autistic and could not speak. After an hour, Ripley and her son went near another waterbody at the Micccosukee Golf and Country Club, where she killed him.
According to ABC, Ripley said she and her son were in the car and had been driving around on Thursday evening when they were ambushed by two men. One of them, Ripley said, was armed with a knife and demanded drugs, as per the Miami-Dade County police report on the matter. It added, "After stating she didn't have any drugs, he then stole her cellular phone and abducted her son, fleeing southbound in the unknown vehicle." But her account had a lot of inconsistencies and arose a lot of suspicions. When pressed further, she broke down and confessed to killing her son. The affidavit further stated, "She admitted that she drove to the SW 62 Street and SW 138 Court at approximately 8:30 p.m. and parked near a canal. She then led the victim to the canal where he drowned."
She added that her son was "going to be in a better place". Ripley was arrested on Saturday morning, 48 hours after she reported him missing, and is being held without bail pending her first court appearance. She faces charges of attempted first-degree murder, first-degree premeditated murder, and first-degree murder. At a press conference, Freddie Ramirez, Miami-Dade Deputy Director said, "The only voice in his life that he depended on to get through this world was his mom's, and to think that that voice would be the one to harm him the most. As a parent, as a member of this community, I am deeply saddened about what happened to that young boy, and then for her to displace blame of her crime on another community is just as well as another crime that was committed, it is very disappointing."
According to Good Morning America, Katherine Fernandez Rundle, the Miami-Dade State Attorney said, "The tragic loss of a 9-year-old boy here and the loss of any young life, leaves us grieving. This boy's senseless, senseless death will stay with us" while adding that the child's father is "heartbroken".